Developing your freelance writing career is both fun and profitable. As you target new markets, improve your writing skills and make contacts, your confidence will grow - if you meet your deadlines. Deadlines are a challenge for many writers, and they're a challenge you must overcome for real writing success.
Here's the reason meeting your deadlines is vital: the buyers of your writing depend on you. A writer who meets and beats deadlines will get more ongoing writing work that a writer who doesn't.
Here are five tips to help you to meet deadlines.
1. Free Writing Eliminates Page Fright
Are you using free writing? Use it whenever you land a new commission. Spend five or ten minutes free writing on the topic, and you've conquered “page fright. "
2. Use Mind Maps at the Start of Every Project
I enjoy lists too, but nothing beats mind maps for giving you a sense that you're in control of your writing topic. This sense of control leads to confidence, and this confidence will help you to meet your deadlines.
3. Researching Isn't Writing: Avoid Aimless Web Surfing
"Research" is just another word for “procrastination. " When you research, act like a researcher. Write down your terms of reference - what you want to know - and write a report of the results of your research when you're done.
Get into the habit of writing a report on our discoveries. If you write for magazines, the fact checkers will love you. If you're writing a book, your reports give you instant ammunition for your editor's queries.
4. Revise, Don't Tinker With Words
Never be afraid to exceed your word count in your first draft. You can always cut. It's hard to bulk up text that's thin, however.
When it comes to revision, “re-vise. " Try to look at what you've written with fresh eyes. What fits? What doesn't? When you revise, don't play with word choices. Take a macro view of the piece of writing.
5. Proofread by Reading It Aloud Onto Tape, then Read Again
You've done your revision, and you've written what you hope is your final draft. It's time to proofread.
Here's a tip: read your writing aloud. Not only does this help in proofing, it also helps you to catch awkward phrasing. Read the document onto tape, and then read it again.
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